Published Date : 2017-10-15
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Arvo Pärt: The Sacred and Religious in Music

By: Giovanni Arledler, SJ

Arvo Pärt was born September 11, 1935, in Paide, Estonia, at that time part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . His family moved soon after to Rakvere. During an otherwise ordinary education, Arvo began to learn to play the piano and other musical instruments. Following his military service, he attended the Tallinn Conservatory. The professors there were strongly influenced by the music of the Russian composers Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. His formation was typical for composers of...

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Reality is Superior to the Idea

By: Gaetano Piccolo, SJ

Pope Francis and the primacy of reality When speaking of evangelization in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (EG), Pope Francis addresses the topics of the common good and social peace (EG 217-237). He speaks of four principles in this regard: time is greater than space (222-225), unity prevails over conflict (226-230), realities are more important than ideas (231-233), and the whole is greater than the part (234-237).[1] He returns to the third principle in Laudato Si’ (LS), where he invites...

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The Spring Tide of Saffron Power: India between Democracy and Nationalism

By: Rudolf Heredia, SJ

The national election for the Lok Sabha (the people’s parliamentary chamber or lower house) in April-May 2014 was a watershed in India’s democratic polity. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made a quantum leap over the threshold of coalition politics in which it seemed to have settled for good. The BJP won 282 seats out of 543, an absolute majority on its own. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the coalition they led, won 336 seats, an almost two-thirds majority. And this...

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The Question of Qatar

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

For many observers the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy was overly cautious, especially at a time of high turmoil and human tragedy in the region. In Libya, President Obama was derided for “leading from behind.” In Syria, his failure, after drawing a red line, to bomb Syrian poison gas arsenals was dismissed by hawkish critics on the right and inevitably by the press, too, as lacking fighting spirit. President Obama’s acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to dismantle the...

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Parrhesia: Freedom of Speech in Early Christianity

By: Enrico Cattaneo, SJ

The philosopher Michel Foucault defines parrhesia as “the frankness, the openness of heart, the opening of word, the openness of language, the freedom of speech.”[1] However, this does not mean saying what one wants in the way one wants, for by its very nature parrhesia reflects an ethical attitude in that what one has to say is said “because it is both necessary and useful, as well as being true.”[2] Therefore, parrhesia is connected to the truth and to the...

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Luther and the Magnificat

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

In a recent biography of Luther, historian Heinz Schilling describes the devotion of the reformer to Mary the Mother of Jesus and his theological sensitivity to Marian themes that would later be neglected by his followers. Among the works finished in 1521, Schilling describes Luther’s commentary on the canticle of Mary: “He then completed his interpretation of the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55, the song of praise by the Mother of God that lay very close to his heart. While his successors...

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